Bondo Nyembwe has been named to the board of directors of Cultural Jambalaya, an educational nonprofit that seeks to broaden world views of students and breaks down cultural barriers.
Nyembwe is the executive director of Academia Cesar Chavez, a dual language Charter School in St. Paul. Nyembwe will help to further Cultural Jambalaya’s educational programs and outreach.
Nyembwe has administrative experience in urban, charter and traditional schools, including serving as principal at the St. Paul City Charter School and policy administrator in the Minnesota Department of Education.
Growing up in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nyembwe also lived in a refugee camp in Zambia before arriving in the United States in 1995.
“In my family, we talked about the American dream. I arrived in America and was scared to fail. I also knew I needed to work hard,” said Nyembwe, who originally wanted to become a diplomat. “But I soon realized that if I was going to achieve the change I wanted to make in terms of affecting the people at the bottom of the queue, I needed to go into education.”
Nyembwe graduated from the University of Minnesota with majors in international relations and Spanish. He went on to earn a master’s in educational leadership and his k-12 principal’s license. Nyembwe was a Page Scholar and is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Swahili. He and his wife live in Vadnais Heights with their five children.
Established in 2005, the volunteer-based Cultural Jambalaya’s work includes the production of the award-winning “Windows & Mirrors” video series featuring images and narratives from across the globe.